Wetmore: 5 thoughts from Wednesday's wild (pitch) finish
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Wednesday's extra-innings loss to the White Sox probably was frustrating for Twins fans. Here are five thoughts I had on the Twins throughout the day, in no particular order.
1. The Twins made the right decision to bat Joe Mauer second instead of Kurt Suzuki.
Against lefty Chris Sale on Opening Day, Suzuki batted second. Suzuki has a low on-base percentage, even against lefties and doesn't belong high in the batting order.
Here are the 2013 numbers, for comparison:
Suzuki vs. RHP: .285 OBP
Mauer vs. RHP: .407 OBP
Suzuki vs. LHP: .309 OBP
Mauer vs. LHP: .394 OBP
As the Twins clear-cut best hitter, Mauer should bat second every game he plays.
2. White Sox starter Felipe Paulino is no Chris Sale.
3. Trevor Plouffe's fielding needs work, and at some point you wonder if there's any more work to be done.
4. The bullpen should still be strong.
If I'm the Twins, I wouldn't worry about Glen Perkins' bad outing. He's an elite reliever. Michael Tonkin looked good Wednesday. Casey Fien has a bruised left ankle, according to reports. Sam Deduno doesn't have much of an idea where the ball going when he releases it. That has helped him at times in the past to keep batters off balance, but it burned him and the Twins on Wednesday.
5. Frank Viola reportedly is resting comfortably following open-heart surgery. The former Twins pitcher known as 'Sweet Music' is now the pitching coach for Triple-A Las Vegas in the Mets organization. He's deserving of one of the thoughts in this column and I wish him well.